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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diet and Nutrition > Copper
      Category : Health Centers > Food, Nutrition, and Metabolism


Overview & Description | Functions and Sources

Copper is an essential trace mineral. It is needed by the body in very small amounts. Copper is found in all tissues of the body but mostly in the skeleton and muscle.


Copper deficiency is rare but not unknown. It is sometimes caused by a lack of copper in the diet. It is more likely a result of genetic problems or from consuming too much zinc. Copper deficiency can severely disrupt growth and metabolism.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of copper for adult men and women is 900 micrograms. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) is the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of harm for almost all people. The adult UL for copper is 10 milligrams per day. Harmful effects of too much copper from dietary sources are extremely rare in the United States. But toxicity from supplements is possible. Excessive copper intake can cause liver damage.


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Copper: Functions and Sources

Author: Susan Harrow Rago, RD, MS
Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
Date Reviewed: 08/23/01

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